Yusmani Mohd Yusoff 1, Hafinas Halid 2, Nurhazlini Rahmat 3


1 Institute for Business Competitiveness, Standards, & Sustainability Initiative, Universiti Utara Malaysia, Malaysia.

2 School of Business & Social Sciences, Albukhary International University, Malaysia.

3 Centre for Languages, Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah International Islamic University, Malaysia.


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Received 5 November 2021

Accepted 16 December 2021

Published 31 December 2021

Corresponding Author

Yusmani Mohd Yusoff,

DOI 10.29121/granthaalayah.v9.i12.2021.3356  

Funding: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Copyright: © 2021 The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.







The occurrence of unexplained viral pneumonia has been reported in Wuhan, China in the end of 2019. Since then, Higher education institutions (HEIs) in Malaysia have decided to shift learning practices towards online learning systems to ensure the teaching and learning activities continue as usual. Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) established online classes, through live broadcast using Webex and to build a three-foot "cloud" podium for other network teaching styles. Therefore, this paper proposed a new model of a technology-driven e-flipped classroom for students’ engagement during and post COVID-19 pandemic.  Data was collected from 230 students of Strategic Management class, Universiti Utara Malaysia in the semester 1 2020/2021. Based on the analysis, this study found that Edmodo as an online learning platform and flipped classroom approach enhances students’ engagement through online activities carried out on their self-paced learning styles.


Keywords: Model of Technology, Technology Driven, Flipped Classroom, Student Engagement



         Since the end of 2019, the occurrence of unexplained viral pneumonia has been reported in Wuhan. On 12 January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) formally named the new coronavirus that caused the outbreak of pneumonia in Wuhan as "2019 New Coronary Virus (2019-nCoV)." In the same month, WTO declared that the outbreak of the new coronavirus had been classified as a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) and it named the pneumonia of the new coronavirus (COVID-19). The existence of COVID-19 has influenced our normal routines and also affected the education system as governments have established rules and regulations to tackle the outbreak, as governments in 49 countries have announced and implemented the closure of educational institutions to control the spread of COVID-19 UNESCO (2020). Higher education institutions have to shift from classroom teaching to online teaching platform in order to ensure that the teaching and learning activities continue as usual. In order to mitigate the transmission of the virus Higher education institutions (HEIs) in Malaysia have decided to shift learning practices towards online learning systems. Hence, Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) establishes online classes through live broadcast using Webex and builds a three-foot "cloud" podium for other network teaching styles, as well as for


students, in compliance with the material and specifications of the program.


Issues between Online Learning and Students Engagement

Many parties have agreed on the continuity of the teaching and learning process during the Covid-19 pandemic through an online learning platform. Although lecturers and students have been used to the physical class design; however, when all the classes are shifted to online teaching, there are still many challenges to be looked into, such as the teaching and learning platforms, technical skills, and teaching materials. Besides, this shift has also raised issues of familiarising stakeholders with technology, face-to-face contact loss, and active student engagement during the implementation of online learning. Online learning involves comprehensive involvement from lecturers and most importantly from students. Although technology plays a role in facilitating online learning, access to high-quality digital contents such as access to the internet and learning software is very important, especially during lockdown (The Star, March 29, 2020). On the other hand, student engagement is a continuous challenge to any lecturer, whether the teaching is done offline or online. Student engagement in online learning is very important because online learning platforms limits students’ opportunity to interact with their students Martin and Bolliger (2018). In UUM, there is a particular subject that prioritises the element of student engagement in teaching and learning, namely Strategic Management (offered by the School of Business Management, College of Business). The Strategic Management course exposes students to the management of an organisation's resources to achieve its goals and objectives. It consists of an ongoing process of formulation, implementation of actions, and evaluation and control of strategies to ensure that an organisation moves in line with its external environment. The Strategic Management Course has three (3) learning outcomes (CLOs) namely:

1)     Explain the basic concepts in strategic management and various types of strategies. (C2)

2)     Apply strategic approaches, techniques, and tools in strategic management. (C3)

3)     Identify potential alternative strategies from issues or problems of business and management in a given situation. (C4, A4)


All of these outcomes can be achieved through students’ engagement as well as comprehensive audit strategic activities that require them to communicate among themselves. Therefore, transferable skills are essential in this course; where they can be achieved through teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills. All these skills are combined in one concept: active student engagement. Student engagement in online learning activities is seen as very critical aspect due to the COVID-19 pandemic issue where all walks of life are restricted to movement control order implemented by the government. Therefore, to minimise disruption to teaching and learning activities, the university must ensure an effective online platform approach for all its students as well as establishing an effective online learning platform that can stimulate students’ engagement in online learning activities.

However, the extent to which the university makes plans and preparations to activate online learning as a whole when we were hit by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 took place suddenly and has spread quickly in 2020. The use of technology as a medium of online learning requires overall student engagement which according to Bulger et al. (2008) student engagement is a concept of effort, interest, motivation, and time spent by students in the task learning. Does the implementation of 100 per cent distance learning by prioritising online learning motivate all students to be actively engaged? Undeniably, the selection of an effective platform will affect student engagement, especially in Strategic Management courses where the CLOs are closely related to overall student engagement with classmates for task completion and so on.

Online learning is not straightforward, as the learning goals should always be completely enforced through online media, as the use of social media such as Edmodo in higher education has increased learning, increased participation and engagement, as well as increased content dissemination, pedagogy, and information sharing Parusheva et al. (2018). In addition to the above, flipped classrooms are known to be an active form of teaching and learning, enabling teachers to use higher-level thought to educate, and motivating students to engage positively in a range of learning experiences Chen et al. (2017). Extracurricular activities such as video courses and flipped online discussion topics or issues ahead allow students to gain knowledge and skills, which will enhance their fulfilment with flipped classroom learning Murillo-Zamorano et al. (2019).


Design Principle for Online Learning to Enhance Students Engagement

Taken together with the usage of Edmodo and flipped classroom, the purpose of this paper is to identify whether Edmodo can be a significant platform for online learning where such learning can be integrated in the flipped classroom in the event of a crisis such as COVID-19, where face-to-face interaction is not allowed. Furthermore, this new method (Edmodo & flipping the class classroom) can be used to support flexible blended learning post COVID-19 pandemic as to increase students’ engagement in the Strategic Management subject.

This paper proposes a new model of a technology-driven e-flipped classroom for students’ engagement during and post COVID-19 pandemic. The model of a technology-driven e-flipped classroom is designed using the concept of the conventional flipped classroom together with the integration of Edmodo as the implementation platform (Figure 1).

Figure 1 Proposed Model of Technology-driven e-flipped Classroom of Strategic Management


Preparing for Flipped Classroom

During the pandemic, the universities can replace the flipped classroom definition with offline content creation combined with online live streaming and implementation platform software. The proposed method is shown in Figure 1. Before the first lecture, students obtained the course outline consists of the information such as objectives of the course, course progress (14 weeks in total), textbook versions, and the proposition and method of the grade assessment through the UUM Online Learning portal. Lecturer also provided the information of the software for the implementation platform for the online learning and facilitate the students to download and install and test beforehand. Therefore, for this Strategic Management subject, the lecturer has utilised the online platform called Edmodo (Figure 2).